transformation: sketchbook project + our garage

Today was a busy day because before I even got working on my sketchbook project, Steven & I spent time together cleaning the garage and unpacking and sorting from our move last September. We had moved so many times since we've been married and relocated to Florida that Steven requested no complaints if the junk (oops, important stuff!!) piled up in the garage in our new home for a while. Of course I said yes because I would hear about it otherwise: "5 moves in 5 years"!!  But we did decide together that it was time - and that we would spend one of our "date days" cleaning, tossing, straightening & organizing so that perhaps I may even be able to get my car into the garage! It went from this:

To this! Wow.

Then while Steven was taking a break before we went out to dinner to celebrate our new found space, I dove back into my sketchbook project. I had been thinking since yesterday about the extended pages I had created by taping 2 sets of pages together, and how I wanted to re-insert them into the cover. I had been laying them into the cover "nested" and realized perhaps in a dream or maybe the early morning hours that I wanted the 4 signatures of pages I had created separate, not nested. This would mean sewing the 4 signatures of pages together, slicing the cover in half and gluing the first and last pages to the front and back cover -eep! I also wanted to "prime" the pages a bit and when cleaning the garage I found a new can of spray primer which worked wonderfully, laying down a very thin coat of primer paint on the pages. 

This was my test piece -always test first!

These are the actual pages now that I have taped them together.

It had been a while since I had sewn any pages together so I reached for Unique Handmade Books by Alisa Golden. I found directions for a decorative stitch book with weaving that looked like it would work even though it called for 5 signatures and I was working with 4. 

Creating the holes for sewing with a cradle 
so that all the holes will be in the same place. 

The stitching is similar to the Star Book class I have taught many times.

I use waxed linen to do the stitching.

The weaving part was different, interesting.

Finished! All 4 sections (signatures) of pages are sewn together.

Now to get very brave . . .  and cut the cover in half! 

 I trimmed the cover just a bit, then attached it to the sewn signatures 
of pages in the front and back.

There are 4 sections of pages just like the one above in the sketchbook now.

I finished the basic structure by adding tabs to make it easier to pull the folded pages out.

Now I get to fill this sketchbook up! You may wonder WHY I went to all this trouble of preparing the sketchbook like I did? Hmmm, I could have just worked in it the way it was, right? Well, I did that last year. This year I wanted to challenge myself and do something different. Last year I was satisfied to work in the moleskine the way it was presented to me because I had never really worked in an artist's journal before. That in itself was a new experience for me. I feel good already that I took the challenge I gave myself to do something different with the sketchbook. And the HOW will be here on my blog and I will also add journaling to the sketchbook about my process. Thanks for listening, I needed to get this down!

yours creatively, lenna